People earning minimum wage can expect a slight increase this summer.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement today the NDP government will raise wages to $12.65 per hour, an increase of $1.30, come June 1st of this year.

For companies who are unsure they will be able to pay their employees, Horgan says they are looking into ways to help them.

“We are looking to remove the PST on electricity for businesses. We cut it in half in the last budget, and we are going to eliminate it entirely by 2019. That is a significant, as you know electricity cost is an important drivers in house holds and important drivers for businesses.”

These recommendations were brought forward by the Fair Wages Commission, after tasking the group to consult with communities across the province.

“Freezing the minimum wage for 10 years hurt people, and then increasing it in a sporadic and unplanned way hurt businesses. We are taking a balanced approach that will work better for everyone, by bringing in measured and predictable increases over time,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “I’m thankful for the incredible work done by the members of the Fair Wages Commission, who worked together to come up with a fair path forward.”

The government is predicting the June increase will benefit 94,000 minimum wage earners throughout the province, along with help drive out economy.

Premier John Horgan speaks at 15th BC Natural Resources Forum in Prince George | Jeff Slack, My PG Now

“When low-wage earners have money in their pocket, they don’t stock it away in offshore tax havens, they put it right back into the economy,” stated Premier Horgan. “Which creates more economic activity, so, more money in the pockets of citizens means more economic activity, which means more small business development.”

Horgan says 400,000 people in BC earn below minimum wage and this increase is one step closer towards the governments plan to creating a more affordable future for the people of British Columbia.

The Fair Wages Commission recommended the following schedule of increases:

  • June 1, 2018: $12.65 an hour ($1.30 increase)
  • June 1, 2019: $13.85 ($1.20 increase)
  • June 1, 2020: $14.60 ($0.75 increase)
  • June 1, 2021: $15.20 ($0.60 increase)

Depending on economic conditions, the commission recommended that government consider of an additional hourly increase of up to $.20, to $15.40 an hour in 2021.